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What are the various treatment options for Demyelination?

Nov 2013
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Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 5293 Questions
Hello, This is a query regarding Demyelination condition. My friend has been diagnosed with primary Demyelination and has been advised to take inter-ferons every week. The doctor has advised there is no permanent cure for this but can only be controlled with weekly injections. She is 24 years old. In perfect health condition other than the MRI diagnosing Demyelination. Want to understand if there is a cure or any other suggestions available regarding this.
Posted Mon, 10 Feb 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 9 hours later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: Hi Ms XXXXXXX Thank you for posting your query. Based on your description, your friend seems to be suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). However, to diagnose MS, there should be symptoms such as loss of vision in one eye, numbness or weakness of legs and arms, imbalance while walking, etc. As per you, she is in perfect health condition. MRI shows demyelination. Based on this alone, we can not diagnose MS. The patient should have symptoms, and we should also do lumbar puncture and look for oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid. I agree that the best treatment of MS is weekly interferon injections (Avonex or Relibeta) and the disease responds well to the treatment. I hope my answer helps. Please get back if you have any follow up queries or if you require any additional information. Wishing you good health, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India Click on this link to ask me a DIRECT QUERY: My BLOG:
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Follow-up: What are the various treatment options for Demyelination? 8 hours later
Thank you Dr XXXXXXX XXXXXXX Her reports were actually tested for MS and the result is negative for now. There are no NMO anti-bodies currently. But the doctor had indicated MS cannot be ruled out in the longer term. They had done Lumbar puncture as well and oligoclonal bands were present. My questions are, 1. If it is only demyelination is weekly interferon required and if so for how long does she have to take it? 2. Any side effects of using interferon weekly? 3. Will these weekly injections cure her demyelination condition at some point or is this going to be a life-long situation? 4. Are interferons going to prevent onset of MS condition? I know these are a lot of questions. But will appreciate your detailed response as the whole situation has set in all of a sudden and we are quite shocked. We are trying to digest the facts and plan for the future with clarity in details. Will be thankful for your detailed response.
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: 1. Her condition is not "only demyelination". If she has multiple sclerosis, only then interferons are useful and not for any other condition. 2. Interferons are required for long term, may be till 60 years of age, after which the disease may go into remission (inactive). 3. Interferons are safe, and cause minor side effects such as pain at the site of injection and fever on the day of injection. 4. MS can not be cured, interferons prevent the relapses of symptoms in MS. 5. Interferons are used for treating a patient already having MS, and interferons do not prevent MS in a person not having it. I hope it helps. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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